Seventeen fish habitat conservation projects in streams and lakes across the state will share more than $2.1 million in Fisheries Habitat Grants administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The projects, supported by an additional $616,000 in matching partner contributions, will rehabilitate and protect valuable fish habitat that provides the foundation for Michigan’s world-class fisheries. Eleven of the funded projects are priority habitat conservation projects as identified by the DNR.
The Fisheries Habitat Grant program provides funding for a variety of activities including fish habitat conservation, dam removal and repair, resource assessment studies and access to recreation opportunities like fishing. Funding from fishing license sales, State of Michigan general funds and a settlement with Consumers Energy is distributed through three grant areas: aquatic habitat conservation, dam management, and aquatic habitat and recreation in the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon river watersheds.
Joe Nohner, a resource analyst with the DNR Fisheries Division, said the funded projects will protect and rehabilitate fish habitats across the state, while in many cases improving public safety by removing dams.
“When completed, these projects will reconnect fish passage on over 250 miles of streams, including cold water habitats that provide greater resilience to warming on some of the state’s premier trout and salmon rivers such as the Au Sable, Boardman, Pere Marquette and Muskegon,” Nohner said. “We’ll also be able to get valuable new information about inland lake aquatic vegetation, mussel populations and northern Michigan trout streams, which means even more effective resource management.”
Projects funded by the Fisheries Habitat Grant program include:
Fisheries Habitat Grant funding is available annually to local, state, federal and tribal governments and nonprofit groups through an open, competitive process. The next request for proposals is expected to be announced in October.
Learn more about the Fisheries Habitat Grant program at Michigan.gov/DNRGrants.